Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This is Chaenomeles speciosa or flowering Quince. This 6-foot tall, thorny shrub, a member of the Rose family, flowers for three weeks or so in Spring. When I brought this into the house and forced it into bloom the flowers were a delicate shade of pink - lovely!

If these formidable thorns could be pierced at one end to enable threading they would make great needles. My neighbor would take the fruits to the Amish who would make jam or jelly from them. They are said to have a tart flavor and taste best when cooked.

Chaenomeles is from the Greek words, chaino, to split; and meles, an apple. It seems to come from their mistaken belief that the fruit was split.

Better Pictures

Perhaps these pictures do better justice to the leaflets.

Can you identify me?

After 20 years I finally noticed the newly emerging leaves of this tree; they are so dainty for such a large tree. It is Quercus palustris aka Pin Oak.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Daffodils Change Colors!

This is Narcissus 'Einstein,' also shown in the second picture of the last posting. This picture is taken on April 15 whereas the first picture was taken 3 days later, on April 18th. I had to recheck my pictures because I was pretty sure Einstein's petals had been yellow only 3 days ago. Now they are a pristine white.

The name Narcissus comes from a mythological character named Narcissus. He fell in love with his beautiful self upon seeing his reflection for the first time in a pool. Unable to embrace his reflection/lover he pined away and the flower Narcissus grew where he died; the term narcissism also comes from this source.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Of Dogtooth Violets and Bloodroots

These began blooming today: The yellow flower is Erythronium americanum aka Dogtooth Violet or Trout Lily; the mottled foliage belongs to the Erythronium. The white flower is Bloodroot, aka Sanguinaria canadensis; the lobed leaves, upper right are Bloodroot's. It has a wonderfully bloody root - great for Halloween.